As Easter follows Christmas, and Ascension follows Easter, so Pentecost follows Ascension. The early church knew in the coming of the Spirit that the Son was at the Father’s right hand in the Glory, and had received from Him the gift of the Spirit.
Jesus had said while here on earth when conversing with his disciples that though he was and must leave them, he would not leave them as orphans, but give them the gift of the Spirit who would remain with them.
He would be God present to them, God present with them, God present in them – the Temple, the place of God presence would disappear, but they would be his Temple, both individually and together as God’s people!
They, humans, were uniquely made to know the Presence of God, to live in that Presence, to know the power of that Presence.
Pentecost, or rather, the Spirit, would transform the most unlikely, weak, timid, limited people into world changers. People who would go against all the odds and preach and demonstrate the gospel of the Kingdom through, words, works and wonders.
The question for us is, what do we know of him, his presence, his power, his drama, in our lives and churches? Professionalism creeps up on us, knowledge, know-how, technology (as good and beneficial as it is) and the ability to create various effects – charismatic can easily become just a livelier form of liturgical. Or maybe life has just got the better of us, pressures of work, bills to be paid, the loss of a loved one, etc.. and you’re just drained – its enough to do the ordinary, let alone the extraordinary of the Kingdom of God. Or perhaps the thought of the Spirit is just a bit scary, uncertain, unpredictable, and you prefer your Christianity to be safe and predictable, nothing off the page.
The reality is whoever we are, wherever we are, we need the Holy Spirit, in our meetings, in our lives, in our witness. I need him, you need him. Yes, he does take us out of our comfort zone, but he is with us!
The only hope for the world of the first century would be found in men and women filled with, transformed by, and empowered and enabled by the Spirit – apart from such an experience they were going nowhere.
Paul said to the church, “go on being filled with the Spirit…” He wasn’t offering an option for those who wanted, this was an instruction for all.
Elsewhere he would say, “don’t quench the Spirit…”
So what do we know of Spirit fullness? Of being filled? Of life and serving in the power of the Spirit? How open are we, you, me, to the Presence and Power of Holy Spirit? How will you know?